REVIEW: Top Gun, The Luna Cinema, Castle Howard, Friday, September 24

TOM CRUISE caused a stir when he was spotted filming the latest Mission Impossible movie in Ryedale in April.

And his North Yorkshire fans were out in force again last night - but this time for a glimpse of him on the big screen as the Luna open air cinema team set up camp at Castle Howard for a screening of Top Gun.

Most of us are familiar with the 1986 film which sees Cruise play US fighter pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell who strikes up a romance with his instructor, played by Kelly McGillis, at the navy's "Top Gun" elite pilot training academy, while he tries to prove he is the best of the best in the sky.

York Press: Luna Cinema at Castle HowardLuna Cinema at Castle Howard

So this was Top Gun, but not as we remember it. For starters, as Cruise ripped through the skies chasing enemy MiGs, the geese on the nearby lake at Castle Howard raised a racket to rival the roaring jets on the silver screen.

And of course, with it being an outdoor cinema, people were sitting on camping chairs or sprawled out on picnic blankets, enjoying drinks and snacks - without worrying that the noise might disturb their neighbours!

There was something novel - but hugely enjoyable - about watching the movie out in the open, under a sparkly Yorkshire sky, as twilight fell. Luckily, it was a dry and mild night.

The familiar was recast a new - and the notion of outdoor cinema seems to be a popular one.

York Press: Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun at Luna Cinema at Castle HowardTom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun at Luna Cinema at Castle Howard

Luna is back tonight with Dirty Dancing and on Sunday with the first Star Wars film from 1977, (now called Star Wars: a New Hope).

Top Gun has become one of the world's most famous and popular movies. Despite a lukewarm reception from critics when it was first screened, it went on to become a multi-million dollar hit and has won a place in the United States Library of Congress's National Film Registry.

Watching it again, you can see why. It is visually stunning, with lingering shots of fire-orange skies, long, empty Californian roads, and sea vistas, with Cruise either in striking silhouette or racing through the scene on a motorbike or in a cockpit.

There are some great lines, fab music (You've Lost That Loving Feeling and Take My Breath Away), and superb performances by a first-rate cast that also included Anthony Edwards (later Dr Green in ER) as Maverick's co-pilot Goose, and Val Kilmer (later Batman) as Cruise's rival the "Ice Man".

It all bodes well for the long-awaited follow up, Top Gun: Maverick, which is due for release next spring, and sees Cruise, now 59, back in the famous role he made his own some 35 years ago.

Meanwhile, Mission: Impossible 7, is expected to be out next September.

For more information about open air films at Castle Howard this weekend, visit: